Who to Watch at Chicago Ideas Week 2012: The Mega Talks

There are talks, and then there are Mega Talks.

The second annual Chicago Ideas Week in early October is shaping up to be just as thought-provoking and seismic to our business-focused minds as last year. But while individual speakers expounding on their various areas of expertise is great, what's better still is, well, not smarter minds, but more biting topics being explored is a bit better because they're topics on everyone's mind grapes.

That's what's being offered in CIW's Mega Talks. Like last year, there are three of them, only probably because the city couldn't handle four instances of something that's "mega."

The first takes place Oct. 8 at the Oriental Theatre at 7 p.m. and is titled "Democracy: State of Our Union." Political analysts like Cory Booker, Michael Duffy, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Meet the Press Host David Gregory will be among those present to discuss how the coming election will help shape our future and also offer a look at our country's political history.

The second is Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. at the same theater and is titled "Disruptive Innovation: Reinventing Our World." It's a mega talk presented by Time with speakers/disruptive innovators Steve Case and Judith Rodin on how smashing the status quo is actually good for it.

The third and final talk, also at the Oriental Theatre, is Oct. 10 at 7 p.m., and is awful ambitious. Titled "Meaning of Life: What's it all About?," this mega talk includes speakers like Deepak Chopra, Lisa Niemi Swayze and Rudy Tanzi, who apparently have been holding back on what they know all this time.

To read more about Ideas Week, click your mouse here.

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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